SCHOOL PLAN

             PLPSD Return to School Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year
                                              Revised October 12, 2020

•   August 26 – Page 8 – Personal Protection Equipment
•   September 1 – Page 8 – Personal Protection Equipment
•   September 1 – Page 18 – Student Transportation
•   October 12 – Page 14 - Screening

Table of Contents

Introduction                                           Mental Health and Well-Being
Attendance and Participation in Learning               Mental Health Promotion
School Calendar                                        Teacher Service Delivery During Remote
                                                       Learning (If Required)
Opening Day
                                                       Student Specific Plans
Provincial Assessments
                                                       The Role of Support Staff Working with
Institutional Preparedness                             Students During the Pandemic Restrictions in
Recovery of Learning                                   PLPSD

Safety and Health Protocols                            Childcare and Before and After Programs

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)                    Reviewing Emergency Preparedness

Cleaning and Disinfecting                              School Board Meetings

Health and Safety of our Community                     Divisional Direction

Contact Tracing                                        Our Purpose, Mission and Values

Modifying Behaviours that Mitigate Risk                Facility Use Permits

Staying Home When Sick                                 Managing New Registrations

Screening                                              Out-of-Province Student and Staff Travel

What Happens If A Child Exhibits Symptoms              Staff Services – Leaves

Hand Hygiene                                           Right to Refuse

Food Handling                                          Medical Notes

No-Sharing Policies                                    Student and Family Preparedness

Toys                                                   Student Screening and Self-Assessment

Physical Distancing                                    Personal Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

Reopening of Schools                                   Communication to the School Community

Rethinking Spaces in Schools                           School Staff Preparedness

Rethinking Learning and Teaching                       Visitors to Schools and Itinerant Divisional
Online and Technology Capacity
                                                       Sports, Clubs and Extra-Curricular
Student Transportation
                                                       Professional Learning
Student Services and Clinical Services

Portage la Prairie School Division’s senior leadership team along with principals from all PLPSD
schools continue to refine the plan for the reopening of schools in September and will continue
to update the information on the division website.
Students will return to in class instruction on September 8, 2020.
Teachers and staff will return to schools on September 2, 3 and 4, providing an opportunity for
orientation to public health requirements and the educational priorities to support students, as
well as professional learning around recovery learning.
Division-level re-entry plans will be finalized by August 17, 2020, and posted on the division
website, and they will be accessible to the school community. The Manitoba Education website
will have links to the various plans. The plans will outline:
       • the school day structure and learning plan
       • how the school division will ensure public health orders and guidance are followed
       • how the school division will address the mental health and well-being of the school
         community, including teachers, staff, students, and families
       • how information will be communicated to students, staff, and families

Our 'new reality' means that schools around the world will be operating with much uncertainty
for the next while and therefore patience and ongoing planning will be a continued
requirement. Please be reassured that the PLPSD will be doing everything possible to mitigate
risk until a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 is available.

In the first six weeks, school staff will make it a priority to work with students and families to
review what Recovery Learning needs are required as we begin the start of the 2020-2021
school year.
Manitoba Education's framework to resume in-class learning in 2020-2021 provides guidelines
to divisions for planning.
Manitobans will be living with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. We must adapt and learn to
live and study safely amidst the pandemic. It is in the best interest of children to be in school,
and we must mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on students and families to ensure that learning
and assessment continues for all.
Remember that children are often listening when others are talking about COVID-19. Staff
should consider this and minimize discussions of COVID-19 that are not related to the specific
setting. Staff should be mindful of how children share information in less supervised settings
(e.g., during outdoor play, before and after school, during lunch and snack times). In these
settings, children can become misinformed. It is important for staff to correct this
misinformation as they become aware of it.

For the PLPSD in-class learning will be as follows:

       •   Kindergarten to Grade 8 students will return for five days of in-class instruction (full
           instructional day) per week inclusive of home economics and industrial arts for
           Grades 7 and 8
       •   Students in Grades 9 and 10 will return for up to five days per week of in-class
       •   Students in Grades 11 and 12 will return every other day for in-class instruction
       •   Students with special needs in all grades will return for five days of in-class
           instruction (full instructional day) per week
       •   Vocational programming will continue to be available to students in Grades 10 to 12
       •   For the 2020-2021 school year, Grades 7 to 12 foods courses will not be offered
       •   At this time no formalized choral programming will be offered to students
       •   Field trips and outings are permitted; however, the participation of student must be
           voluntary and accompanied by appropriate parental permission. Enhanced planning
           for field trips will be necessary to ensure health guidelines are met.
       •   Students who had difficulty with remote learning (engagement, technical issues,
           other) will resume in-class instruction up to five days per week
When returning to school in September:
       •   Classrooms will be configured to support physical distancing with the use of
           alternate space as needed, such as multi-purpose rooms. Two metres of physical
           distancing is required to the greatest extent possible
       •   Where physical distancing is not possible, students must remain within cohorts to
           reduce exposure to others. Cohorts will distance themselves from other groups to
           limit exposure. In these instances, there must be at least one metre between
           students as they sit at their desks in classrooms
       •   Entry and exits to schools will be managed to avoid congestion
       •   Lunch and recess breaks will be staggered
       •   Protocols will be in place to safely move students through schools to reduce
           congestion in hallways and common areas. Teachers will move across classrooms
           instead of students
       •   Students and staff are required to self-screen and stay home when they are
           exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
       •   Parents and caregivers will be expected to screen their children before boarding the
           bus or entering a school
       •   There will also be screening protocols for all people entering a school and limitations
           regarding visitors
       •   Students will be reminded of the importance of physical distancing and hand
       •   There will be enhanced cleaning protocols in schools and on buses

•   Regional public health officials will monitor the situation closely and will provide
           direction and information to school communities. Public health will be responsible
           for responding to cases of COVID-19 and overseeing outbreak management
Attendance and Participation in Learning
School attendance is mandatory for children aged 7 to 18 in Manitoba.
All students are expected to participate fully in learning, even when remote learning is
Arrangements will be needed for students, teachers, administrators, and school staff who may
be at higher risk of COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions or other risk factors.
Division-level remote learning will be in place for students who are medically advised not to
return to in-class learning due to COVID-related risk factors. These situations should be rare and
limited to children with compromised immune systems or other medical conditions that
increase their risk. Parents and caregivers must consult with physicians on the need for an
Similarly, barring exceptional circumstances, students are expected to engage fully in remote
learning if/when it is required.
It will be essential that parents and students monitor and self-assess their health prior to
coming to school. Coughing, sneezing, sore throat, body aches are all signs that a student
should remain home and contact Health Links. Please review the self-assessment protocols that
will be shared by your school principals in September.
It will be important for schools to work closely with their local public health team, and they
should reach out if a situation arises where they require clarification or information. Manitoba
Education and Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) will be working with local
public health teams and regional health authorities to ensure that they have the most up-to-
date information. A dedicated Manitoba Education email address will be monitored so school
administrators have timely access to information and support: educovid19@gov.mb.ca.
School Calendar
Manitoba Education has communicated the following:

   •   The school calendar will have three additional days added prior to the Labour Day
       weekend, meaning the school year will start Wednesday, September 2, 2020 for
       teachers and staff
   •   Students will return to class on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
   •   September 2, 3 and 4, 2020 will be mandated non-instructional days, one of which will
       be considered as an administration day and two as professional development days.

Schools are to use this time to prepare physical spaces, educate staff on public health
       protocols, and engage collaboratively on approaches to recovery learning
   •   School divisions will schedule the seven remaining non-instructional days
   •   All professional development days should be focused on COVID-19-related priorities and
       response, including the province-wide professional development day on October 23,
Non-instructional Days in PLPSD for 2020-2021

   •   Wednesday, September 2, 2020
   •   Thursday, September 3, 2020
   •   Friday, September 4, 2020
   •   Tuesday, October 6, 2020
   •   Friday, October 23, 2020
   •   Friday, November 13, 2020
   •   Friday, November 27, 2020
   •   Monday, February 1, 2021
   •   Friday, April 16, 2021
   •   Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Winter Break

   •   Last Day of School: Friday, December 18, 2020
   •   School Re-opens: Monday, January 4, 2021
Spring Break

   •   Last Day of School: Friday, March 26, 2021
   •   School Re-opens: Monday, April 5, 2021
Last day of school in 2020-2021

   •   Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Opening Day
The week of August 31, schools will communicate the schedule of staggered entries and new
protocols for students to start on September 8.
Provincial Assessments
Grade 3 and 4 Assessment and Middle Years Assessment
The provincial data collection associated with the Grade 3 Assessment in Reading, Literacy and
Numeracy and Grade 4 Assessment in French Immersion Literacy, as well as the Middle Years
Assessment of Key Competencies in Mathematics, Reading Comprehension, Expository Writing,
and Student Engagement will be suspended for the 2020-2021 school year, to ensure the focus
is placed on supporting students’ return to in-class learning and recovery learning needs. PLPSD
will be continuing the assessment for divisional data collection only.
Grade 12 Tests
Grade 12 provincial tests are scheduled to proceed as normal. Schools will be notified if the
public health situation warrants a change to the provincial tests. In the event of cancellation,
other forms of assessment will be used to determine students’ marks.
Institutional Preparedness
As mandated by Manitoba Education in Welcoming Our Students Back: Restoring Safe Schools,
PLPSD shall ensure institutional preparedness by:

    •   Preparing school facilities to accommodate physical distancing, including increased
        sanitation, hand hygiene and other public health provisions
    •   Following the guidelines for re-opening school facilities. These will be updated regularly
        to reflect new public health orders and guidance
    •   Posting information about physical distancing, cleaning, and other public health
        measures to help schools prepare for in-class learning
    •   Planning for adjustments to transportation routes and schedules for all stages of re-
        opening, including asking parents to transport their own children where possible
    •   The PLPSD has already purchased specialized sanitation equipment and developed
        increased cleaning protocols in preparation for the resumption of in-school learning.
        These efforts came into practice June 1, 2020 during the limited reopening phase
Recovery of Learning

•   An “Individual Recovery of Learning Plan” was required if a student had limited to no
    engagement with learning between March 23 and June 29, 2020. It is intended to support
    planning for individual student learning at the next level
•   Plans have been shared with the student’s next year’s teacher(s)
•   The plans will guide the teacher in the fall to “recover” the missing outcomes, for each
•   Targeted interventions should emphasize literacy and numeracy skills and concepts
•   All K to 7 students had the opportunity to meet with their next year’s teacher in June 2020
•   In September, there is planned PD for all teachers that focus on recovery of learning and re-
    engaging students

Manitoba Education has noted the following considerations:

    ●    Some students will need minimal re-orientation to the school environment,
        relationships and routines, and academic review, as per usual September start-up
        Others will need a longer time to re-orient, re-establish relationships and routines, and

engage in learning experiences that would have occurred during the suspension of in-
      class learning



                 *For students who had limited to no engagement in learning
                            between March 23 and June 29, 2020

Student:                               Program:                               Grade:

Course:                                        Teacher:

   1. Degree or level of student’s overall participation in learning since school closure:

          None Limited (
                9-11 and 11+ INDIVIDUAL RECOVERY OF LEARNING PLAN

                                     *Credit is not achieved

*The Individual Student Plan created by Student Services will supplement the Recovery of
Learning Plan

Student: ________________________Program: _______________ Grade: ______

Course: _________________________Teacher:_________________________________

    1. Degree or level of student’s overall participation in learning since school closure:

᪇ None᪇ Limited (
Early detection and proactive measures to minimize the risk of transmission will assist with
limiting the impact of a case within the school and help prevent disruption of in-class learning
and restricted access to the school by students and staff.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Non-medical masks can play a role in reducing the transmission of COVID-19. Wearing
nonmedical masks is an additional personal practice that can help to prevent the infectious
respiratory droplets of an unknowingly infected person (the wearer) from coming into contact
with other people. Non-medical masks have not been tested to meet any standards. Wearing a
non-medical mask or face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand-washing,
but it provides another layer of protection for the user. Those wearing masks should be
reminded, in age-appropriate language, not to touch their mask and to comply with other
personal preventive practices, such as frequent hand hygiene and physical distancing as much
as possible. Non-medical masks are required for students in Grades 4 to 12, staff and visitors in
situations where a person cannot maintain a two-metre physical distance for extended periods
of time and is in close proximity to a person outside of their regular contacts. This includes
hallways and when riding the bus to school, and it may include classroom settings.

   •   As mandated by Public Health students (Grade 4 and up), teachers, staff, visitors and
       volunteers are required to wear non-medical masks in areas where physical distancing
       of two metres is not possible
   •    Students under Grade 4 can also use non-medical masks
   •   All school bus passengers and the driver are required to wear a non-medical mask.
       These should be put on before loading and taken off after offloading if removal is
       appropriate for the setting
   •   Masks will be provided to students and staff who need them. Inventory will be
       monitored to ensure adequate supply
   •   Non-medical masks should not be worn by anyone who:
            o is unable to remove the mask without assistance (e.g., due to age, ability or
               developmental status)
            o has breathing difficulties
            o is under two years of age
When a non-medical mask is used, your hands should be cleaned before and after putting it on
and taking it off. Follow the recommendations listed above for the use of non-medical masks,
including for their removal. Removed masks are considered contaminated and should be placed
in a container or bag for appropriate cleaning and disinfection at a later time. Non-medical
masks should be laundered daily.
A medical mask (surgical or procedural mask) is required when unable to maintain a distance of
two metres or six feet from a child who is exhibiting signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
To put on a mask safely, perform hand hygiene by handwashing with soap and water, or use an

alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Place the mask on your face carefully so it covers your mouth and
nose, handling it with the strings or elastic ear loops as much as possible, and mold the nose
bridge to ensure it does not move while it is on. Avoid touching the mask once you have put it
on. If the mask needs to be adjusted, hands should be cleaned before and after adjusting the
mask. Never pull the mask down below the nose, mouth, or chin. Never dangle the mask from
one ear or both ears. To remove the mask safely, remove it from behind using the strings or
elastic ear loops. Do not touch the front of the mask. Discard the mask immediately, ideally in a
no-touch receptacle. Perform hand hygiene by handwashing with soap and water or using
alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/prepareandprevent/index.html for the latest guidance on
the use and care of masks.
Consideration can be given to teachers and staff to wear face shields or coverings and eye
protection, in addition to a mask (not in place of a mask).
Visit the following Public Health Agency of Canada page to access a poster and guidelines for
how to safely use a non-medical mask or face covering: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-
health/ services/publications/diseases-conditions/covid-19-safely-use-non-medical-mask-face-
covering. html
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Increased frequency of cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing - particularly on high-touch surfaces
and in common/shared areas - will be required.
In June 2020, with the re-opening of schools, PLPSD implemented the following protocols:

   •   Hand sanitizing stations at all main school entrances
   •   Supplied all schools with two hydrostatic sanitation cleaning devices
   •   Classrooms are supplied with hand sanitizer spray bottles
   •   Classrooms are supplied with approved spray cleaner
   •   School buses are sanitized after each run
   •   Bus drivers were provided with disinfectants
   •   Cleaners and custodians received training on enhanced cleaning protocols
   •   Additional staff have been hired to complement increased cleaning protocols
Schools must:

   •   Disinfect commonly touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, electronic
       devices, chairs, desks, art supplies, toys, games, gym equipment, tools and equipment)
       frequently - at least twice daily, or more often as needed
   •   Increase monitoring of hand-cleaning supplies to ensure an ample supply at all sinks in
       washroom and kitchen areas

•   Ensure washrooms and lunchrooms are cleaned and disinfected frequently (at least
       twice daily, and more often as needed) and stagger use
   •   Turn off water fountains that are not touchless or cannot be cleaned between users.
   •   Ensure there is enhanced cleaning of bus seats and other high-touch surfaces (e.g.,
       windows and railings) before each new group of students attends the bus
   •   Health Canada has posted a list of disinfectants shown to be effective against COVID-19
       at https:// www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-
   School administrators are encouraged to review existing activities and practices within their
   settings to help determine where enhancements or increased cleaning frequencies may be
   beneficial. This includes limiting the use of high-touch objects and surfaces by multiple
   individuals (e.g., providing children with their own containers of arts and crafts materials
   that are not shared with others). Waste should be disposed of regularly. Hand hygiene
   should be performed after waste removal. No-touch waste receptacles are preferred.
Health and Safety of our Community
According to Manitoba Education, "current evidence indicates that staff and students can
return to school while protecting individual health and minimizing risks from a public health

As schools plan for the return of staff and students, a balanced focus on maximizing people's
health and well-being while mitigating risk is our paramount goal.
Contact Tracing
If a student or staff member reports that they have received a positive test for COVID-19:

   •   The principal will immediately advise the superintendent
   •   The superintendent will contact public health officials, seek advice, and collaborate with
       health officials. Any information about positive test cases will be communicated through
       Public Health and not the PLPSD. Health Information is considered private, therefore
       information about positive cases in the PLPSD will not be shared publicly by the division
To facilitate contact tracing, schools must:

   •   record student attendance in school and on buses regularly and accurately
   •   maintain a log of all visitors and itinerant employees that access the building
   •   keep groups of student cohorts together and avoid interactions between groups - If
       there is a case of infection in a school, this practice can help with contact tracing,
       but also limit potential exposures and drastically reduce the potential number of
       exposed staff and students

Upon request by public health officials, schools will provide contact information for other
students or staff who would be considered "close contacts" of the individual that received a
positive test result. Public health officials are responsible for communicating with "close
contacts" and for advising the wider school community. Schools must not communicate such
information without specific direction from the superintendent and public health officials.
Modifying Behaviours That Mitigate Risk
To ensure the safety of the work environment for all, staff will adhere to the safe work
procedures and keep abreast of updated procedures and protocols.

In the event that a family member of the staff person in the same household reports that he or
she has received a positive test for COVID-19:

   •   The staff member will immediately advise their direct supervisor
   •   The school and division will work with public health officials
   •   Staff members must be in good health to attend work
   •   Before leaving for the worksite all staff are to use the Manitoba Health COVID-19
       Screening Tool, using the following guidelines:
           o Any cold or flu-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, muscle
              ache, headache, nausea, fatigue) they should remain at home
           o If a person in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is in close
              contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19, or if anyone in the household has
              travelled out of the province, he/she is required to consult with Health Links
              prior to attending school
           o As indicated by Manitoba Education in Welcoming Our Students Back – Restoring
              Safe Schools, arrangements will be needed for teachers, administrators and
              school staff who may be at higher risk of COVID-19 due to underlying health
              conditions or other risk factors
Staying Home When Sick
Individuals should self-isolate and not enter schools or education facilities if they:

   •   are experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
   •   have travelled outside Manitoba in the previous 14 days (outside of areas excluded by
       public health orders, which currently exclude locations in Western Canada, the
       territories, and Ontario west of Terrace Bay)
   •   are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19
   •   are awaiting a COVID-19 test result (excluding persons tested as part of voluntary
       asymptomatic surveillance for COVID-19, as they do not need to isolate)
An up-to-date list of symptoms can be found at

Screening for symptoms is critical to identify any potential cases of COVID-19 as quickly as
possible before exposure to others. If someone is unsure whether they or their child should be
tested and self-isolate, they should be directed to the COVID-19 Screening Tool at
All screening that identifies suspected cases of COVID-19 should be referred to Health Links –
Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257.
Symptom and exposure screening must occur at the start of each day.
Staff must self-monitor daily for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Staff who have any
symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home, isolate, and be excluded from work. Schools must
maintain records of staff absenteeism.
Schools must communicate that parents and caregivers need to monitor their child daily for
symptoms and exposures before sending them to school. Parents and caregivers are
responsible for ensuring their children are not displaying symptoms before sending them to
school or on the bus. Schools can also support children with self-screening upon arrival at
A student or staff member who meets any of the exclusion criteria will not be admitted to the
school and will be advised to immediately isolate and consult Health Links – Info Santé or their
health care provider. Those with symptoms should be tested. If the test is negative for COVID-
19, they can return 24 hours after symptoms resolve. If individuals do not get tested, they
should isolate for 10 days from symptom onset, and they may return if symptoms have
resolved at that time.
A chronic stable cough, sneeze, runny nose, or nasal congestion that is unchanged and clearly
linked to a known medical condition such as asthma or allergies is not an absolute requirement
for exclusion. As well, children who are crying can exhibit a runny nose. Changing or worsening
of chronic symptoms require isolation and contacting Health Links – Info Santé. Staff should
exercise judgment based on the symptoms but, when in doubt, err on the side of caution by
excluding the child and advising the parent/caregiver to contact Health Links – Info Santé or
their health care provider.
What Happens if a Child Exhibits Symptoms?
If a child develops symptoms while at school, the child should be isolated in a separate room. If
a separate room is not immediately available, the child needs to be kept at least two metres/six
feet away from other children and staff. If possible, a mask should be provided for and worn by
the sick child (over two years of age only).
The parent should be notified to come and pick up the child immediately. Parents or caregivers
must pick up their child as soon as possible if they are notified their child is ill.
Ask the parent or guardian to contact Health Links – Info Santé (204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-
9257) or the child’s health care provider for direction, if required.
If the child is young and requires close contact and care while isolated, caregivers can continue
to care for the child until the parent is able to pick up the child. Caregivers should be mindful of
hand hygiene and avoid contact with the respiratory secretions of the child. A medical mask
should be worn by the staff person caring for the child.
If a parent/caregiver is unreachable to pick up a sick child, school staff should keep the child
isolated in a separate room until the parent or caregiver arrives. If the medical condition
requires urgent assessment, or if the parent cannot be located, they should follow standard
procedures. Anyone in close contact with the child while waiting should wear personal
protective equipment, including a medical mask. Once the student is picked up, the staff
member should practice diligent hand hygiene.
Additional environmental cleaning will be required. Focus should be on high-touch areas and
areas where the child spent time. All items (e.g., bedding and toys) used by the child while
isolated should be cleaned and disinfected as soon as the child has been picked up.
A sick child can return to the school once it has been determined that it is safe to do so by their
health care provider or public health. If that child has a positive test, further direction will be
provided by public health. Public health typically follows up with contacts of cases within 24 to
48 hours of receipt of the laboratory report.
Hand Hygiene
       •   Encourage, and where possible supervise, hand hygiene and make alcohol-based
           hand sanitizer available at all building access points and throughout the school and
           in classrooms
       •   Supervise young children when using alcohol-based hand sanitizer
       •   Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the recommended hand
           hygiene practice. Staff and students must engage in frequent hand hygiene,
           including but not limited to the following times:
                   ▪ at the start of the day and before going home
                   ▪ before and after recess
                   ▪ after going to the washroom and helping children with washroom
                   ▪ after a diaper change (both children and staff)
                   ▪ before and after preparing food
                   ▪ before eating/drinking
                   ▪ after getting hands dirty or if they have become contaminated
                   ▪ after wiping nose or handling dirty tissues
▪ after coughing, sneezing, or blowing nose
                    ▪ after soothing a crying child
                    ▪ before and after putting on and taking off a mask
                    ▪ before and after being on a bus
                    ▪ after cleaning tasks (staff)
       •   As part of these routine measures, signage should be posted and highly visible, and
           it should include visual cues that remind staff and children to perform hand hygiene
           (e.g., sneezing or coughing into their elbow, putting used tissues in a waste
           receptacle, and performing hand hygiene immediately after using tissues)
       •   Several printable resources, including posters and factsheets, are available online at
           the following websites:
           o https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/resources/index.html
           o https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/providers/posters/

Food Handling
The best practice is that parents/guardians provide their own food for their child. If this is not
possible, the following guidance applies:
       • Staff should serve all food items
       • Utensils should be used to serve food items by staff, not fingers
       • Remove shared food containers from eating areas (e.g., snack bowls, pitchers of water
         or milk, salt and pepper shakers)
       • Communal microwave ovens will be removed
       • If using single service packets of condiments, provide the packet directly to each child,
         rather than self-serving from a bulk container
       • For snack programs, dispense snacks directly to children and use prepackaged snacks
       • Close kitchen and nourishment areas that could be accessed by children or visitors
       • Implement other measures as necessary or appropriate, or if directed by local public
       • Ensure that food handling staff practice meticulous hand hygiene
       • Cease all classes and activities involving student participation in food preparation

No-Sharing Policies
It is important to reinforce in children the policies of no food sharing and no water-bottle
sharing. Generally, these policies are intended to reduce potential exposures to allergens, but
the practice of not sharing food or water bottles in schools also helps reduce virus transmission
among staff and children. Students are encouraged to keep personal belongings with them.
Locker use should be limited or discontinued to avoid congregation in hallways.

As per standard procedures, it is recommended that schools have toys that are easily cleaned
and disinfected. It may be prudent to increase the frequency of the cleaning schedule for these
items, especially when illness is circulating in the setting or the local community, or if
symptomatic staff and children have been touching the toys.
Plush toys should be avoided. Children’s personal toys (i.e., for security or comfort) are not to
be shared with other children and should be stored in a way that ensures this.
In general, sensory play must not be used at this time. Children should not use or handle
modelling clay, indoor sand, and sensory tables, as these items cannot be easily disinfected. An
exception can be made for children with additional support needs where the use of these items
is an important part of their individual plan. These items should then be used under staff
supervision and exclusively by the individual child.
Physical Distancing
Two metres of physical distancing is required, to the greatest extent possible. When this is not
possible, students will remain within cohorts to reduce exposure to others. Cohorts will
distance themselves from other groups to limit exposure. In these instances, there must be at
least one metre between students as they sit at their desks. Signage will be installed outlining
physical distancing protocols and floor markings where any lines may form, both inside and
outside the facility. Spaces and schedules will encourage the recommended separation.
Physical barriers, where appropriate, are also an option when physical distancing is not
possible. Staff and students are encouraged to be outdoors as much as possible. All protocols
set out by Manitoba Education regarding contact sports and games, or the use of shared
equipment will be followed.
Fire drills and lock-down requirements must be considered within the COVID-19 environment,
as current procedures are not conducive to physical distancing. Modifications of drills to
achieve goals should be considered.
Re-Opening of Schools

Navigating the pandemic and its uncertainties in the 2020-2021 school year will require us to
reimagine many of our practices and conceptualizations from timetabling and the use of space
to curriculum and its delivery.
PLPSD applauds Manitoba Education efforts to prioritize in-class learning in 2020-2021. The
province recognizes that our public schools are essential "to the mental health and well-being

of children. Planning should focus on returning as many students to in-class learning as possible
while following public health advice and subject to available physical space and resources."
Manitoba Education has made full-time in-class learning a priority for "students in K-8, students
with special needs (all grades), and students who require additional supports who benefit from
face-to-face interaction with educators and who may have difficulties navigating remote
learning independently. Their return to school also provides parents and caregivers with a
greater ability to return to work."
Rethinking Spaces in Schools
PLPSD has prioritized resuming in-class learning still requires a level of physical distancing:

   •   Schools will implement strategies to avoid crowding in hallways, entrances and other
       non-instructional spaces
   •   Schools will limit nonessential visitors and stagger drop-offs, pick-ups, class times and
       breaks to the greatest extent possible
   •   Schools will not schedule assemblies and gatherings that exceed public health advice
   •   If necessary, schools may have to look at alternate sites to increase physical distancing
       where space in the current school is not available
   •   Outdoor learning will be encouraged through outdoor classroom spaces, physical
       education activities, and recess
Manitoba Education recommends keeping groups of students together (cohorting), and
preventing circulation and exposure between cohorts where possible, to limit exposure to and
spread of COVID-19 while pandemic restrictions are in effect.
Cohorting is recommended but not required if two-metre spacing between students is possible.
Cohorting will be used in almost all cases in K to 12.
The extent to which cohorting will occur will depend on available space, age of students, and
students' developmental ability to follow safety protocols school configurations and staffing
Rethinking Learning and Teaching
PLPSD will be required to reimagine teachers and educational assistants in relationship to
smaller learning 'cohorts' of students and a holistic approach to learning and teaching.

   •   Some staff assignments will need to change temporarily
   •   In all grades, K-12, will focus on strengthening student-centered instructional practices
       that advance deeper-learning (play-based in the early years, project-based in middle
       and senior years)
Manitoba Education makes explicit that 2020-2021 will require school systems to continue to
refine their 'Blended Learning' strategy.

What is Blended Learning?

   •   Teacher-directed remote learning will be an essential component of K to 12 education
       throughout the pandemic. When remote learning is needed, students may work
       independently on their own, as well as work with a teacher in real time. Blended in-class
       and remote learning plans may need to be implemented on short notice. Mechanisms to
       maintain ongoing contact with students who are participating in remote learning are
       critical to keeping students engaged
   •   Remote learning plans will be developed for students with underlying health conditions
       that prohibit them from returning to in-class learning (before broad access to a vaccine)
       and students in 14-day quarantine or isolation
PLPSD will continue to:

   •   monitor students that require support to obtain access to devices and the Internet
   •   enhance staff access to technology (devices, software and systems) to ensure the
       ongoing development of its 'blended learning strategy'
   •   refine its 'blended learning strategy' (by meaningfully engaging staff, students and
   •   co-create the strategy
   •   develop their technical proficiency and capacities
   •   Provide ongoing professional development for staff about remote learning
Online and Technology Capacity
PLPSD will continue to leverage technology (Google Classroom and SeeSaw) to support teaching
and learning. Since the beginning of the pandemic our priorities have been:

   •   Ensuring students have access to the internet and laptops
   •   MiFi devices have been distributed to provide better remote internet access
   •   Remote hotspots have been set up at Oakville School and Portage Collegiate Institute
       for free Wi-Fi access
   •   Laptops / tablets have been distributed for home use
   •   Offering professional development for teachers to transition to an online teaching
   •   PLPSD teachers have taken part in online professional learning regarding the use of
       technology to support online learning
   •   PLPSD offers an EdTech mentorship program that allows teachers to collaborate with a
       mentor colleague
   •   Technology and its use to support distance learning will continue in the 2020-2021
       school year for our teachers
   •   Enhancing technology in the classroom for staff and students

•   PLPSD is continuing to enhance the availability of technology for both teachers and
       students as well as looking for new technologies to assist in teaching and learning in our
Note: Parents requesting devices (laptop /tablet/MIFI) should contact the school principal
where their child attends, to request a device.
Student Transportation
Student transportation on buses will be pose a significant challenge for PLPSD in the fall due to
the physical distancing requirements. On August 19, 2020 Manitoba Education
released Guidelines for Transportation to Schools for the 2020-2021 school year. We
understand that the decision to reduce our regular ridership will impact many families,
however, we are following the recommendations of Manitoba Education and Public Health.
In order to meet the needs of approximately 1,600 students who get to school on one of our
buses, we will need the support of families to find alternative means of transportation in 2020-

PLPSD will be implementing temporary solutions to reduce the number of students on
buses. This will include:

   •   Grades 11 and 12 students will be transported every other day
   •   Prioritizing elementary and middle school ridership with alternate days for high school
   •   Transporting only eligible bussing students. Non-eligible students (school of choice,
       students that reside within the 1.6 km range) will not be approved to travel on the
       buses for the 2020-2021 school year, due to the physical distancing requirements
   •   Encourage parents to have their child walk, drive their child, and carpool to school
   •   Expand Walking School Bus options (supervised walking with an adult)
   •   All school bus passengers, as well as, the driver, are required to wear a non-medical
       mask. These should be put on before getting on the bus and taken off after exiting the
       bus, if removal is appropriate for the setting. Students in lower grades may also wear
       non-medical masks. Guidelines on how to wear a mask can be found at:
   •   Families are required to complete the self-screening protocol prior to riding the bus
Student Services and Clinical Services
Student Services and Clinical Services staff are also preparing for a 'new reality' in 2020-2021
school year that may include smaller student cohorts, remote learning, ongoing disruptions to
on-site learning due to student health and pandemic restrictions, use of personal protective
equipment (PPE) and other changes required to adapt to pandemic restriction requirements.

PLPSD Schools regularly engage in student-specific, classroom and school-level student services
planning. PLPSD will strive to support students with additional needs in school settings where
and when possible. As part of our Limited Reopening of Schools Strategy, the PLPSD placed
emphasis on connecting with families of children with complex learning needs as a priority.
It is expected there may be an ongoing need for some remote learning due to possible changes
in provincial public health restrictions or more frequent student health barriers to onsite
learning. During pandemic restrictions, which may increase or decrease quickly, school student
services and clinical teams will need to navigate various contexts for student support including
small cohorts onsite and remote learning. It will be important that student-specific planning
include continual capacity building for remote learning and use of technology for
communication and learning where possible, to mitigate disruptions in learning when students
are not able to attend school. Please see important additional information from Manitoba
Education: Resources Supporting Students with Special Needs.


    •   Wellbeing of students, families and staff
    •   A focus on equity for our most vulnerable students
    •   Maintaining connections between school staff and students

Student specific resources/ supports and services can be effectively provided remotely if
We will continue with our service delivery models as is possible. However, ongoing capacity
building (identification and preparation) for remote and small cohort learning opportunities will
be important.
Remote learning comes in many forms and is not always online learning.
Engagement and dialogue with families is key.
Schools and families have local contexts that they must navigate.
Planning and time for planning are key. Ongoing necessary training for staff to work safely with
students including:
        •    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
        •    PLPSD will provide PPE and staff training as required on the use and care of PPE to
             keep students and staff safe and will implement the Manitoba Education Guidelines

on Supporting Students Who Require Interventions or Supports that Cannot be
           Delivered from a Distance
It is essential to connect with parents/guardians to understand their circumstances and needs,
to establish a communication plan, and share information to inform student-specific planning
whether at school or at home.
We need to provide notice to families regarding specific tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3 supports that
student services will provide to their children remotely if necessary.

   •   Arrange regular, ongoing check-ins with families by teachers, administrators and
       outreach facilitators (phone, email, online tools, etc)
   •   Use check-ins to discuss resources, supports and services, prioritize learning needs,
       problem-solve learning and behavioural issues at home, and customize the daily
       schedule for students
   •   Help to overcome individual obstacles to accessing materials and resources
   •   Scheduled times with students and families is recommended
   •   Consider office hours and staff accessibility
       Specific hours in the day parents can sign-up for ahead of time and touch base with a
       specific person at the school
Mental Health and Wellbeing
PLPSD will continue to provide support for mental health and wellbeing as staff and students
return to work in September, survey results indicate that staff and students have found the
pandemic to be particularly stressful time for a variety of reasons, so mental health supports
will be incorporated in to the return planning.
Mental Health Promotion
PLPSD Student Services Department will be providing mental health support programs in
coordination with school counselors. The PLPSD will also have the additional support of a
Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) as part of a provincial pilot program, this individual is trained
to engage in mental health supports for youth. These teams will be helpful to promote positive
mental health in schools upon re-opening.
Mental Health Promotion is about creating environments that promote and sustain positive
mental health for everyone. Activities, supports and learning opportunities are designed to
enhance protective factors and minimize risk factors. Schools are an ideal setting in which to
promote mental health for children and youth, providing an opportunity to reach large groups
of children during their formative years of cognitive, emotional and behavioural development.
Mental Health Promotion in schools focuses on enhancing protective factors that contribute to
the social and emotional growth of children and youth and decreasing the risk factors that
impede psychosocial development.

Teacher Service Delivery During Remote Learning (If Required)

   •   Co-plan inclusive, developmentally appropriate learning activities with teachers and
       develop learning resources for parents/students
   •   Provide student-specific planning support for teachers and families
   •   Support student-specific planning implementation
   •   Support outreach for students at-risk and struggling to engage in remote learning easily
   •   Support understanding of each child's remote learning environment and current
       considerations for student-specific plans
   •   Support teachers in the identification of students' learning recovery needs upon return
       to school
   •   Domains of Remote Service Delivery (where necessary)
   •   Providing Supports and Resources for remote learning activities
   •   Providing remote instruction and services (small group and individualized)
Student Specific Plans

   •   Learning should be enjoyable and promote relationship, communication and well-being
   •   Student specific goals must consider new learning environments and supports available
   •   Consider greater use of outdoor spaces
   •   Move from student-specific programming to cohorts of students with common
       needs where possible to reduce social isolation and staff circulation/distribution of
       resources and needs for spaces
   •    Inclusion must be meaningful and purposeful, not merely physical/social
   •   Assets and resources available to students will vary
   •   Co-planning and co-constructing using a team approach with parents/guardians and
       older students is even more essential
   •   Whether curricular or student-specific, goals should be developmentally appropriate
       and relevant and appropriate for onsite or remote learning contexts
   •   Focus on making curriculum learning accessible (accommodation, adaptation,
       modification if the student is eligible)
The Role of Support Staff Working with Students During Pandemic Restrictions in PLPSD

PLPSD recognizes the value of its support staff and their contributions in supporting the
inclusion of all students in our community schools. During the pandemic period, the learning
environment has changed to include remote learning and learning in schools in smaller
cohorts with public health restrictions. As a result, the context and possibilities for meaningful
work for support staff working with students have changed.

PLPSD support staff will play an important role in supporting the transition of students back to
schools and greater supervision responsibilities as we work to organize students into smaller
cohorts needed to respect physical distancing requirements. Support staff who work with
students will experience changes in expectations and assignments as required to supervise and
support students in their cohorts.

However, the distinctions between the roles and responsibilities of support staff and
professional staff have not changed. The norms for roles and responsibilities, and
the requirement for professional staff to plan for and assess learning, provide initial instruction
to students and support staff, and to schedule and manage communication between staff,
students and parents/guardians, remains in effect. For clarity on roles and responsibilities
please see the document Educational Assistants in Manitoba Schools.

The following applies to engaging support staff in working with students:

   •   Support staff may have increased responsibility for supervision and support of student
       learning planned by professional staff
   •   Remote student engagement is to be scheduled and supervised by the
       teacher/supervisor in Google Meets/SeeSaw in collaboration and as planned with
       students, staff and parents/guardians
   •   It will be understood that professional staff will join and supervise/participate in the
       remote or onsite learning activities with a frequency and duration as they deem
       appropriate and necessary depending upon the learning task, the staff/student
       relationship and familiarity with each other, the learning task, and other factors which
       may require more direct support
   •   Professional staff will be available to support as needed
   •   Support staff will communicate student progress or other feedback to supervising
       professional staff daily and not to parents/guardians
   •   Only professional staff will communicate with parents regarding students as per normal
Childcare and Before and After School Programs
PLPSD and its Early Learning and Childcare partners have intentionally worked together to
develop a strong planning partnership by building a bridge between the two systems to support
a seamless transition for young children as they move from childcare to school.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic did not put our collaboration on hold. The PLPSD and
Early Learning and Child Care partnership has continued and has been paramount to ensuring a
safe and consistent approach to opening spaces for children in childcare centers located in the
division – Wee World (NMS) - opening Fall 2020, Short Stop (ECVS) and Tiny Tots (OVS). Tiny
Tots will be closed until January 2021, at that time a decision will be made about the
resumption of services.
Reviewing Emergency Preparedness
At the beginning of each school year, principals conduct a review of their school-specific
emergency response plan (see ED - Emergency Situations and Preparedness - Crisis Response
Plan). At this point, public health orders do not require physical distancing requirements to be
respected during evacuations or lockdowns. The need for emergency procedures to be
expedient, effective, and consistent outweighs the risk that COVID-19 would pose during these
situations. That said, students should be encouraged to respect physical distancing once they
have arrived at the muster point. PLPSD will revise emergency preparedness protocols as
School Board Meetings
The PLPSD board of trustees will continue to meet regularly throughout 2020-2021 (the Board
shall continue to meet on the second and fourth Tuesday in each and every month, September
to June, inclusive, in the Board Room at eight (8:00) o’clock p.m. or at such other times or
places as the Board may from time to time designate.) Should a public health order restrict
physical gatherings, meetings will occur via electronic means. Public participation is welcome,
with advance registration required.
Should restrictions be imposed on gather sizes, the PLPSD Board of Trustees would resume
meeting via Google Meets, and will continue to broadcast their meetings live via YouTube.
Divisional Direction
The PLPSD remains firmly committed to its Purpose, Mission and Values, and its policies. By
articulating PLPSD's foundational principles, these documents provide clear direction. With all
the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, such clear direction is even more important. The
Division calls on all members of the school community – staff, students, and parents/guardians
– to keep these documents top of mind as they engage in their daily work in 2020-2021 and
Our Purpose, Mission, and Values
The Portage la Prairie School Division is committed to providing excellent educational programs
to help students learn and mature.
The Division believes strongly in the concept of community and promotes the provision of
appropriate programs to meet the varied needs of students in regular classrooms from
neighbourhood schools.
The PURPOSE of The Portage la Prairie School Division is:

   •   To provide, or make provision for, appropriate schooling opportunities for students
       eligible to attend The Portage la Prairie School Division

The MISSION of The Portage la Prairie School Division is:

•   To recognize the individual needs and potential of our students and to provide these
       students with the opportunity to undertake schooling experiences that will contribute
       to the development of their full potential. Schooling experiences will consider the future
       demands that will be placed upon society by our rapidly changing world
The following VALUES have been identified as a high priority and are therefore expected to be
incorporated into the decision-making and behaviour of the staff and students of The Portage la
Prairie School Division.

   •   HONESTY
   •   DIGNITY

Facility Use Permits
Permits for evening and weekend facility use are suspended until further notice. The
suspension will accommodate increased cleaning requirements and afford schools greater
flexibility to repurpose gyms and multipurpose rooms for other types of instruction.
Managing New Registrations
Mobility is a part of life for many families in Canada, and while there has been less mobility
during the COVID-19 pandemic, some families will still choose to relocate for better housing,
work opportunities, and many other reasons. We can expect that families will continue to
relocate within the province of Manitoba, between cities and provinces across Canada, and
internationally. Furthermore, relocation will continue to happen throughout the school year,
meaning that students new to our Division can arrive at any time.
To guide the safe and successful welcoming and registration of new students, the following
guidelines apply:

   •   Families new to PLPSD must contact the school by phone or email to arrange a
       registration appointment. Families who are uncertain of which school to contact should
       contact the Division Office for assistance
   •   The school will arrange an appropriate time and mechanism for registering new
       students (in-person, online, or other)
   •   If the family is relocating from a region that warrants a mandatory quarantine or
       isolation period, they may be asked to verify their travel dates, and quarantine dates
       and plans. New registrations will only occur after any mandatory quarantine or isolation
       period has been completed

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